Looking: Season One


Cert: 15 • US: 8 x 30 min • HBO • January 19, 2014

Whilst Looking is not perfect, it admirably holds up a refreshingly astute and sometimes critical mirror to contemporary gay life.

“Finally, queer filmmakers seem comfortable balancing explicit representations of sex with (or against) the fuzzier feelings, without sacrificing emotional complexity or social commentary.”

Pierrot Lunaire


Cert: 18 • Germany/Canada: 51 min • Die Lamb, Hebbel Theatre Berlin, Jürgen Brüning Filmproduktion • February 9, 2014

Bruce LaBruce’s Pierrot Lunaire, set to Arnold Schöneberg’s score, is a meditation on transgender identity – but is the intriguing scenario a success?

“If there is any social point that comes across in the film, it is only that the current hysteria over whether someone is pre-op or not misunderstands what is means to identify as transgender. It restrains and enforces the boundaries of gender within matters of sex.”

Valencia: The Movie/s


Cert: 18 • US: 105 min • Radar Productions • June, 2013

Multiple directors, multiple actors, and Angelina Jolie make Valencia: The Movie/s a mirror to our own, hot, dirty, radical queer lives.

“It’s hard not to feel personally invested in this film. Michelle Tea’s messy, drunk memoirs became a metaphor for so many of us dirty queers, with its bad-choice adventures, stone cold girlfriends, hot bartenders, poetry and sex work. “

Plynace Wiezowce (Floating Skyscrapers)


Cert: 15 • Poland: 93 min • Matchbox Films / Alter Ego Pictures • March 24, 2014

Atmospheric and powerful. Floating Skyscrapers taps into the culture of homophobia, which demands many to suppress, numb, or even kill their own desires.

Floating Skyscrapers is very much a film about the unspoken. The script is suggestive and prefers to leave the emotional worlds of the characters to the audiences’ interpretation. The sparse dialogue and tense scenes reveal the unacceptability of his sexuality and the disorder it has made of his world.”

Rush


Cert: 15 • USA: 123 min • Exclusive Media, Cross Creek, Imagine Ent • January 27, 2014

Rush ebbs between some decent moments to scenes that would feel more at home in The Fast and the Furious franchise.

“The film is held back by Chris Hemsworth’s performance, which appears deliberate and self-conscious in adopting the cocksure persona. He seems unable to relax into the role, overcompensating to the point where character is superceded by a nauseating caricature.”

L’inconnnu du lac (Stranger By The Lake)


Cert: 18 • France: 100 min • Les Films du Worso • February 21, 2014

Alain Guiraudie’s ‘L’Inconnnu du lac (Stranger By The Lake)’ is an elegant, provocative, genre-crossing film. It’s also eye-poppingly explicit.

Stranger By The Lake might have the feel of a particularly classy porn flick were in not for the diverse bodies it presents, and for the director’s careful attention to the nuances of all aspects of the men’s conduct and contact.”

Blue is the Warmest Colour


Cert: 18 • France: 179 min • Quat’sous Films • November 22 2013

The winner of this year’s Palm d’Or, Blue is the Warmest Colour is bold and edgy, yet its flaws often leave the film without a heart.

“With the lush, delicate micro-precision of Kechiche’s process, Blue is the Warmest Colour hugs you through the three hour run time, but the hug is with uneasy, unfamiliar arms. The precision of his lens both tightly grips but takes the true fully-formed love out of the frame.”

Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia


Cert: U • US: 90 min • Amnesia Productions • April 18 2013

A deft insight into the life and work of one of the twentieth century’s great public intellectuals.

“The film works to remind us what a remarkable figure Gore Vidal was and vividly illustrates how rare such liberal voices are, not only in American politics but anywhere.”

Call Girl


Sweden / Norway / Finland / Ireland: 140 min • GarageFilm International • August 16, 2013

There are strong performances in this exposé of 1970s high-class prostitution ring in Sweden but in its attempt to capture all the angles it loses some of its impact.

Call Girl opens with a declaration that it is based on true events. It centres on the political scandal now known as Bordellhärvan, which involved an active sex trafficking group involving underage girls, whose customers were from the highest ranks of Swedish society and government..”

Frances Ha


US: 86 min • Pine District Pictures, RT Features, Scott Rudin Productions • July 26, 2013

Frances Ha tells the story of a 27 year old New York dancer who has lived vicariously through her closest friend. Funny and insightful.

“The film’s charisma comes from its honest portrayal of growing up; the fears, the doubts and the awkward moments we encounter in figuring ourselves out.”